Kent State Chemistry Physics Professor Wins 2017 Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award
Kent State University Professor Deng-Ke Yang, Ph.D., was named one of the recipients of the 2017 Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award for his work in the Liquid Crystal Institute®.
Philip Bos, Ph.D., associate director of the Liquid Crystal Institute and a professor in the Chemical Physics Program, nominated Dr. Yang because he wanted to recognize how important his work is to Kent State.
“Dr. Yang is a real treasure for Kent State,” Dr. Bos says. “He has more than 20 patents, and he is a well-known, respected researcher and speaker both here and internationally.”
Dr. Yang is one of the inventors behind bistable cholesteric display technology, what the department refers to as “the world’s most promising technology for electronic paper.” This technology is used in devices like the Boogie Board eWriter.
Dr. Bos has worked with Dr. Yang since 1994 and has watched Dr. Yang’s growth and success with much appreciation.
“If you look at his résumé, you see that he has written two books, been cited more than 1,000 times in various journals, and yet he is so humble,” Dr. Bos says. “He is always willing to help students and has even been rated five out of five for two of the five years he taught his graduate course.”
Additionally, Dr. Yang was recognized with the Slottow-Owaki Prize from the Information Display Society, which recognizes “contributions to the education and training of students and professionals in the field of liquid-crystal displays.”
Dr. Yang has also helped to create switches for electro-optic windows, which allows the windows to change from transparent to milky with the flip of a switch. He is currently trying to improve this technology and develop a switch that can control energy flow.
“On hot summer days, the switch can block the sunlight, so you don’t have to use too much energy to cool it down,” Dr. Yang says. “In the winter, you can let the solar energy into the room, so you can save energy and not use too much heating.”
Additionally, Dr. Yang is working on developing a new reflective liquid crystal display for mobile devices that allow users to see the screen better in the sunlight.
After receiving his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Hawaii in 1986, Dr. Yang came to Kent State as a postdoctoral scholar. Dr. Yang’s field of research includes cholesteric or reflective liquid crystals, liquid crystal and polymer composites and electro-optic devices. He held a postdoctoral position for two years and then moved on to faculty.
“I wanted to join the faculty because Kent State is a world-wide leader in liquid crystal science and technologies,” Dr. Yang says.
Now, he is on the forefront of that research himself.